At a meeting held on Thursday 15th March, attending members of Mayo Organic Group voted unanimously to oppose the proposed GM potato trials by Teagasc. In addition to signing an on-line petition, it was decided to distribute information on the trials, as well as a letter/petition to all contact. These are attached, & I would urge you to distribute to your contacts, members & other potentially interested parties.
THE TEAGASC GM POTATO TRIALS 2012
A background note for Organic Gardeners Why should we be concerned?
International organic standards, to which we have committed ourselves, specify zero GM content in organic crops. In the US, however, as a result of unintended leakages of GM material into the environment, organic standards have had to be re-written to allow 2% of contaminated material.
However carefully the Teagasc trials themselves are carried out, they are liable to lead to the adoption of GM varieties, thus to the release of GM material into our food chain, which would sooner or later compromise organic growing in Ireland.
What have the effects been on local farmers and food chains?
There have been many scientific papers on the environmental impact of GMOs. An accessible and wide-ranging collection of case studies was assembled in the Global Citizens Report 2011 The GMO Emperor Has No Clothes , which contains critiques of the performance of GM crops from every continent.
Who gains from GM crops, then . . . ?
Ultimately the multinationals pharmaceutical companies, which control much of world seed production. The Teagasc trial is listed with the European authorities as the sixth in a series of GM/blight resistance trial applications, the first of which was registered in Belgium in 2010 by BASF, probably the largest chemical company in the world. BASF had planned a GM potato trial in Ireland in 2006, but withdrew it in the face of strong public opposition
What can we do to make our views heard?
Complete information on making a formal submission on this trial to the EPA is ... available here: http://www.epa.ie/downloads/forms/lic/gmo/gmtrial/name,31966,en.html
Deadline is March 27th, - post not email – so effectively 23rd.
Cost is €10.00, so best done as a petition from a group . . .
There is an on-line petition that can be signed at http://www.gm-moratorium.com/
This site now also has helpful information making a representation. And a suggestion for requesting an extension of consultation time by writing to the Director of the EPA – no charge beyond the stamp for that.
The Teasgasc officer responsible for the trials is: Ewen.Mullins@teagasc.ie
The Mayo Organic Group will be discussing a possible petition on Thursday for an update on that contact a committee member, or mail email@example.com
Mayo Organic Group Committee, March 12th 2012.
Letter to EPA - attachment.